Soaker Hose: Look Ma, No Hands Irrigation

A soaker hose is an essential DIY irrigation tool. Unlike garden hoses, soaker hoses provide a simple drip system that keeps a plant’s root zone healthy.

Soaker Hose

For many people, gardening is an excuse to spend more time outdoors. However, gardening can be expensive and time-consuming. Enter: the soaker hose.

After you identify your outdoor needs, invest in the right equipment. Here, we’ll show you how a soaker hose is different from a regular garden hose. You can have a productive garden, without working as hard.  

Plants need water and sunlight. With summer approaching, you need to water your vegetable garden to safeguard against sun damage and other risks. At the same time, you want to reduce water waste and lower your water bill. Most soaker hoses deliver water evenly to your garden area. 

Those who don’t have time to water their plants or don’t have a water sprinkler system, soaker hoses are an investment that will help save money.

Soaker Hose Features

Soaker Hose Features

Soaker hoses come in a wide variety. Before you buy one, here are a few things to consider: 

Length

The length of your hose should be compatible with the area of your garden. The hose should lay flat across the entire area so water can reach every plant. The hoses are made with plastic connectors which allow you to attach multiple hoses. 

Flexibility

The flexibility of a hose depends on a few factors, starting with the materials. Rubber hoses are the best choice because rubber is the most flexible of all materials.

The shape of the hose will also determine its flexibility. For instance, flat hoses aren’t very good for tight turns. The holes of a soaker hose are located on the bottom side, which limits how you can use it. 

Pore Size

Different soaker hoses have different hole sizes. , so what size is the right one to choose? Well, the main goal is to keep the soil moist at a level where plant roots can be hydrated. If the hose has pores that are too large, they may eliminate too much water and over-soak the soil.

You also want to avoid hoses that have small pores. This results in poor water elimination and plant dehydration. You want soaker hoses that release thick beads of water but without the hose projecting them outward. The best soaker hoses are those that allow you to see water droplets forming on their surfaces.

Pressure Rating

One of the best things about soaker hoses is the fact they can be efficient even at really low water pressures. Experts recommend keeping the water pressure at 10 PSI, to allow the water to seep through the pores instead of spraying out.

Soaker Hose Vs Irrigation Hose

Soaker Hose Vs Irrigation Hose

If you’re not familiar with different kinds of gardening tools, then you don’t know the difference between a soaker hose and an irrigation hose. Irrigation hoses are flexible irrigation pipes that change their form once water flows through them when connected to an outdoor spigot. When water pressure is high, the pipe expands to a tube and retracts when you stop the water.

Soaker hoses are made from plastic fibers, which makes them more flexible. One advantage of this type of hose is the fact that its compact version occupies little space and there is less need for too much storage space. Drip irrigation works best in large vegetable gardens that have rows and a sloped ground.

Soaker hoses are porous garden hoses that resemble regular garden hoses. They have tiny pores across its surface that allow water to seep through them. The hoses are made from polyethylene plastic and rubber, but you can also find BPA-free models.

The Top 6 Soaker Hoses

Here are the six best soaker hoses on the market today.

Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker Hose

Gilmour Flat Weeper Soaker HoseView in gallery

The Gilmour flat hose is a quality soaker hose available in different sizes. Made from vinyl, the hose provides a DIY watering system, allowing you to bury the hose under mulch and keep it out of sight.

The flexibility allows you to place it around the roots of all kinds of plants so that you can provide them with consistent water flows. You can choose to hook the hose up to the timer so that you’ll never have to worry about manual watering the plants, allowing them to receive the water they need for roots to grow healthy and thrive.

Pros

  • Easy DIY watering system 
  • Clog-resistant fabric cover for consistent soaking
  • Snake through rows of new seedlings or under mature plantings for deep watering

Cons

  • Weak water pressure at the end

Melnor 50 inch Flat Soaker Hose

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Melnor products are focused on helping plants thrive in moisture. This soaker hose is designed to provide you with a good solution to keep your plant hydrated. Three length options include 25, 50, and 75 feet.

The rust-resistant cap end makes it easy to connect multiple hoses one to another. When not in use, the shoe lies flat, so it’s easy to store it when you have limited storage space to work with.

There are two extra washers included in the package so you can benefit from a leak-free seal.

Pros

  • Extremely flexible and versatile 
  • Rust resistant end cap allows multiple hoses to be connected 
  • Flattens for easy storage 

Cons

  • Inconsistent water pressure
  • Weak seams

Swan Products Miracle-GRO Soaker System

Best Soaker HoseView in gallery

 

This Swan Products soaker hose is another great product for watering the garden. It can release between 0.5 and 1 gallon of water for each foot of its length, making sure that water goes straight to the roots since it can be placed under mulch.

Compared to a sprinkler system, the hose uses 70 percent less water due to a built-in water restrictor that limits water consumption. 

The hose is designed with a lead-free system that follows Federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. Available in three length options, with the longest hose stretching 100 feet.

The hose comes with two male and two female connectors, and one feeder. For best usage, set the hose up in a straight line and avoid using it on an incline.

Pros

  • Requires 70 percent less water than standard sprinklers 
  • Protects foliage and vegetables 
  • Meets the lead free standard under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act

Cons

  • Inconsistent spray
  • Connections aren’t sealed

Swan Products GIDS Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose

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This Swan hose is 50 feet long. It’s designed to provide your plants with the right amount of water do you’ll never have to worry about watering the garden.

The hose is constructed from 65 percent recycled and reinforced rubber. Thanks to its construction, the hose can lie flat without any kind of twists. It comes with male and female brass fittings.

The surface of the hose has patented UV protection, so even if the hose lies uncovered by mulch and in direct sunlight, it won’t impact its durability.

Pros

  • Can stretch up to 3.5 feet
  • Dual function – one side sprays, while the other side soaks
  • 7 year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn’t have enough holes
  • It might only spray out of one side

Dramm ColorStorm Premium 25 Foot Soaker Garden Hose

Dramm ColorStorm Premium 25 Foot Soaker Garden HoseView in gallery

The Dramm soaker hose is another viable product, especially for people that are looking to save money on this purchase. Made from high-grade rubber, this hose comes with thicker walls that promise to eliminate the geyser effect and use 90 percent less water. It has an abrasion-resistant and kink-resistant construction, promising to deliver even watering at all times.

It is designed with nickel-plated brass fittings, offering a crush-resistant component that can easily withstand the test of time. You can choose between the 25 and the 50 foot version of this hose, depending on how big your garden is.

Pros

  • Evenly waters from beginning to end
  • 25 foot hose made from recycled material
  • Thicker wall eliminates geyser effect

Cons

  •  Hose end cap has durability issues
  • Weak water pressure

Green Mount Garden Soaker Hose

Green Mount Garden Soaker HoseView in gallery

 

This Green Mount soaker hose releases two gallons every two minutes if you turn on the water pressure up to 60 PSI. Made from PVC material, the hose eliminates a consistent flow of water, distributing the liquid of life across the surface.

The hose is designed with corrosion-resistant end caps, making it easy to connect with other hoses. 

Pros

  • Compact design means it doesn’t require a lot of space 
  • Tensile strength makes the hose durable during hot weather summer
  • Corrosion resistant end caps allow easy connection to other hoses 

Cons

  • Leaks easily
  • High water pressure stretches the holes

Soaker Hose Tips

Should You Use a Soaker Hose for a Veggie Garden?View in gallery

Get the most out of your soaker hose. Here are a few tips that will help:

Straight Rows

The plants in your garden should be in straight rows. Soaker hoses work best on flat and orderly surfaces. Steep or bumpy terrain is not advisable. The hose has low water pressure, which makes it difficult when delivering water to raised beds.

Plastic Connectors

You can connect soaker hoses to timers. A timer helps automate the watering process and lowers the amount of time you’ll spend on watering your garden. 

Water Pressure

If your water source doesn’t provide a steady amount of pressure, don’t be afraid to invest in a water pressure regulator.

Clean Soaker Hose

Make sure your soaker hose is free of any debris that could block water. To do this, remove the end cap and wipe away waste from the hose.

Soaker Hose Benefits

To understand what a soaker hose is good for, you should know what a soaker is and what it does. It has a different design compared to a regular garden hose. The hose has pores running along the length of the hose, dispersing water evenly. 

Due to low water pressure, the water that leaks through the pores quickly reaches the base of your plants. The drip system allows you to push more water to the root system. This helps avoid evaporation. The design of the soaker hose allows water to seep through the pores at a slow rate.

Root Zone

You want to keep pests away from your plants and free of fungal disease. When you provide roots with the right amount of water, but also make sure that other plants aren’t saturated with water.

Reduces Water Waste

They are good for people that don’t want to invest too much money upfront in gardening equipment, as soaker hoses are a much cheaper solution compared to some other options.

Raised Beds

If you have a small garden on level ground, a soaker hose might be useful for you too, but they also work well in raised beds.

Productive Garden

Many gardeners enjoy spending time in their gardens. However, this doesn’t mean they want to spend their time watering plants. A soaker hose will take care of the watering while you do other important things.

The hoses need to be spread around plant beds, making sure that the soaker is close enough to the plants so the water can reach the roots. You don’t have to monitor the soaker hose; just turn the water on and walk away.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Will A Soaker Hose Work With A Rain Barrel?

A soaker hose can be used with a rain barrel. It is an efficient way to use collected water.

Do Birds Or Squirrels Drink Water From A Soaker Hose?

Birds and squirrels will quench their thirst by consuming moisture in the soil or eating worms. To prevent small, wild animals from drinking water directly from your soaker hose, keep your garden soil moist.   

Should You Use A Soaker Hose For A Veggie Garden?

When vegetables are in their seedling stage, they require nurturing.  With a soaker hose, vegetables can benefit from a constant stream of water without much effort on your behalf.

With a soaker hose, you can set up a consistent watering routine for your vegetables. Manual watering is something that can give inconsistent results if you forget to do it, so a soaker hose is much better in such a situation. 

If I Hang A Soaker Hose Above My Garden Will It Spray Or Fall?

Soaker hoses should be placed on the ground. It is not advisable to suspend a soaker hose above your garden and plants. Eventually, the hose will fall. 

Are Soaker Hoses Better Than Sprinkler Hoses?

A soaker hose allows water to seep through the hose along its entire length. Due to the hose’s design, it’s an efficient way to direct water to the root system of your greenery. Meanwhile, a sprinkler hose combines the features of a soaker hose and water sprinkler.

A sprinkler hose has small holes along its entire length that allow it to spray water over a large area. If your garden has an odd terrain and non-uniform plants, you can adjust your sprinkler hose for effective coverage.

Soaker Hose Conclusion

When you choose a soaker hose, look at the features specific to the hose. This means checking out the length of the hose and, if need be, buy multiple hoses that can be connected one to another. Also take a look at the size of the pores, to make sure they eliminate enough water for your garden’s needs.

Some soaker hoses are flat while others are round. The hoses provide water efficiency unlike automated sprinkler systems. They’re less expensive, and reduce water waste lost to evaporation and wind. Water applied to the root systems of your lawn through a soaker system is better for your plants than soaking the foliage.